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Craft designer Debbie Bryan to attend NTU wool festival
Apr '10
Award-winning craft designer, Debbie Bryan, has been invited to attend an international wool festival thanks to a successful research and development project she is undertaking through Nottingham Trent University's sustainable design scheme, Future Factory.

Future Factory is ERDF funded and aims to support East Midlands' SMEs adopt more sustainable business practice and processes through collaborative project work, mentoring, events and graduate placements. The project team links expertise from within the university and its wider networks with regional companies who hope to understand more about sustainability issues and how these affect their business.

Through the support received from the scheme, Debbie was able to take time away from her Nottingham studio and shop to carry out research at lace knitwear manufacturer G.H. Hurt & Son Ltd, which enabled her to develop her wool range.

Debbie studied for a BA textile design and MA fashion and textiles at Nottingham Trent University and also set up her business from the university's enterprise unit, The Hive. She said: “I had so many ideas I wanted to develop but not a clear way forward. The support from Future Factory allowed me to spend some very constructive time with Hurts and plan where I wanted to go next.

“It has been very inspiring, the company has been established since 1912 and I have a particular interest in patterns with a strong essence of this decade. I was able to discuss design and technical options with them, use their knitting machine and select colour palettes for my new collection. I'm now hoping to use Future Factory support to spend time with Hurts working on further research and development.”

Debbie's work has led to an invite to showcase her current collection, along with a taster of her new line, at the famous Bergerie Nationale of Rambouillet during the Wool Art Festival from 1 – 6 May. Located 50km from Paris, the festival is held to promote and celebrate innovation and creation in wool and wool crafts. It also hopes to develop exchanges between European countries and wool textile designers and artists in order to encourage a young generation of creators.

Future Factory project director and lecturer at Nottingham Business School, Lynn Oxborrow, added “We're delighted with the early success that Debbie has achieved with her new collection. The work addresses several emerging sustainability themes, such as localised manufacture, using sustainable materials, evaluating customer response and designing new items to cherish influenced by traditional techniques.”

Nottingham Trent University

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